Yep. They were running a promotion, and Joe had to wear the Red Robin suit, hand out flyers, and shake hands.
They let the robin draft tenth so he would have plenty of time between picks. "Every few minutes", a league member remembered, "he would waddle over to our table to see what pick we were on and who had been selected." Joe explains it wasn’t easy. "Turns out, a cheat sheet taped inside my beak was not ideal."
No. 3: The "You Suck Balls Award"
Like many leagues, Isaac Robinson’s Hopeful Chiefs Fan League awards a trophy to the last-place finisher. Unlike many leagues, this last-place trophy nearly caused an international incident.
They call it the “You Suck Balls Award”, and it’s basically an athletic cup on a block of wood, spray-painted gold. The “winner” that year was a guy named Royce, who was working and couldn’t pick it up in person. So, on August 18, the trophy was delivered to Royce’s porch.
And that’s where the trouble begins. You see, the job that caused Royce to miss the trophy presentations? It was working for a congressman. A controversial one. One who had been getting death threats. So when Royce comes home to find a ratty cardboard box sealed with duct tape and a scrawled note saying, “Special delivery for Royce”, what does he do?
Exactly. DEA, ATF, bomb squad, FBI agents were all dispatched to his house. The neighborhood was evacuated. Local TV reporters were covering it. The bomb squad robot was brought in, remotely scanned the box, and saw the words “You Suck Balls” staring back at it.
Isaac had to spend many hours being interrogated by the FBI, explaining that no, he does not mean any threat to the congressman, and that Royce does, in fact, suck balls at fantasy football.
No. 2: WHO traded WHAT?
There once was a 10-team league with a husband and wife who were each managing their own teams. Very normal. The husband owned Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, who was having a breakout season. The wife had Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who was in the middle of a monster year. Still normal.
On the Sunday of week 11 in the 2011 season, however, Fred Jackson broke a bone in his leg and was lost for the season. This is where the normal ends.
Two days later, on Tuesday of that week... tragedy. The wife suddenly and tragically passed away. Heartbreaking, right? Just devastating. On Friday of that very same week, just three days after the wife passed away, a new transaction pops up on the league message board. The husband trades out-for-the-year Fred Jackson. To the dead wife. For LeSean McCoy!
Clearly, the husband is controlling both teams. It's weird, but the guy just suffered a tragic and horrific loss, people grieve in different ways, so... the league decides to just look the other way. The whole league, that is, except one guy. This guy starts blasting the husband all over the message board, emailing him privately, calling him names, and yelling about the trade. “I don’t care if she’s dead! It’s a bullshit trade!” Finally, the husband responds: “Hey!!!” he says. “It was her dying wish.”
Ball game, husband. And the craziest story I've ever heard?
No. 1: Drafting at War
Steve Straub was stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan when he was having his online draft with his buddies back home. Steve was used to it. His team name is “A Doctor Without Borders” since he’s been in a different country for every fantasy draft the league has had.
Time differences being what they are, it was the middle of the night while Steve drafted. But of course, that wasn’t the only thing that made Steve’s draft different from normal drafts.
"It was 1:00 A.M. local time when the rockets began to hit our base," Steve recalls. Wait. Hold on. Rockets?
"Yeah, the rockets landed about 50 yards away and three or four of them landed in my general vicinity in a period of about 10 minutes. They are deafening when they land and they are usually 107mm rockets."
And you didn’t get the hell out of there?!!?
"Well, no shrapnel or dirt or anything was sent in my direction and I couldn't go anywhere else or I would have lost my internet signal. The internet here is poor at best."
You know what else is poor at best? Surviving rockets.
Security officials in battle gear ordered Steve to the bunkers. He told them that he couldn’t leave because it was a crucial point in the draft. The security officials insisted, "Sir, you need to get to the bunkers." Steve replied, "No, I need to find a good running back for my flex position." The security officials got irritated and walked away.
"I finished the draft with no more issues, and right now, I am getting the last laugh, as I am tied for first place."
Well, I’d argue you got the last laugh by cheating death, but tomato, tomahto. Bombs, tattoos, and fuzzy animal costumes... got something crazier? Tweet it to @MatthewBerryTMR and @Thrillist using #FantasyLife or post it in the comments below. I’ll send a copy of my new book, Fantasy Life, to the five people who share the best story.